HOME Effective Speech Evaluations    Japanese

Introduction

Members of the club prepare and present speeches based on projects in the Communication and Leadership Program manual. One of the club members is designated to deliver the evaluation to the speaker orally in front of the audience. This article concentrates on listing guidelines for Evaluations and is written to encourage members to read the Toastmasters’ manual - “Effective Speech Evaluation”. This article is a set of points from this manual and some resources on the Internet.

Life cycle of Project from Evaluator’s view

The life cycle of a project can be broken into the following major steps:

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Before the meeting, when roles and speakers are confirmed.

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At the meeting

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before the speech

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during the speech

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after the speech

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After the meeting.


Preparation: Before the meeting

Don’t think that the evaluations are completely impromptu. The speaker would have spent hours or even weeks in preparing the speech. The evaluator should spend at least 15 to 30 minutes preparing, to be able to give best evaluation that the speaker deserves.

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Read the speech project: Evaluator should make himself/herself familiar with the objective of the project.

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Read the evaluation guide for the project: This gives the evaluator a template for evaluation of the speech. By reading this guide, the evaluator can mentally prepare for what to look for in the speech. This template can be used for writing down notes while listening to the speech.

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Talk with the speaker: Evaluator should make sure that he/she knows the goals of the speaker and of specific areas in which the speaker would like help. It is best, if the speaker exchanges with the evaluator list of things that he/she would like the evaluator to comment on. This list could be based on self-assessment or audience’s feedback of the previous speeches.

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Add more value: Just to be different from other evaluators, find resources on the net or other places such as Toastmaster’s newsletter where speakers can go to excel the objective of the project. Make sure to mention these resources during the evaluation.



Introduce project: At the meeting, before the speech

Before a speech, the Toastmaster invites the evaluator to give a brief of the objective of the speech. Evaluators normally end up reading the objective directly from the manual. Just reading objectives from the manual serves little purpose and often leaves the audience confused. Following are some of the suggestions to make this small allocated time efficient.

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Read the project in the manual: Form your own sentences and tell it to the audience in few sentences. Have a sentence or two to explain the importance of the project (e.g., why vocal variety is important or why props are important in a speech). Please note that the majority of the audience, especially guests and new members could be unaware of the project. Spending 15 to 20 seconds on describing the project in your own words is worth the time. The key to deliver information in short time is to prepare.

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Help the audience focus on the objective: A better and meaningful introduction to the project help the audience to focus on the objective of the speech and makes their written evaluations more relevant.

Listen to the speech: At the meeting, during the speech

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Make Notes: Evaluator should have the evaluation guide and speaker’s list of areas to concentrate in front. Listen to the speech carefully and make notes against these points.

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Prepare Evaluation Speech: After the speech, based on your notes prepare the evaluation speech.

Some tips for evaluations:

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a)Be Selective: You don’t have to comment on every point in the evaluation guide. Select two or three important points and elaborate them.

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b)Be Honest: If you did not like some aspect of the speech, don’t say you did.

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c)Encourage: There are many methods of conveying something the speaker did well and some which speaker could improve. The manual “Effective Speech Evaluation” explains these methods. The following link explains some more techniques. http://www.toastmasters.com/killer-evals.html

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d)Be Specific: For example, if the speech organization was confusing at one point, say so but clearly address what confused you and offer a suggestion for improvement.

Delivering the evaluation: At the meeting, after the speech

Carefully select words while delivering the evaluation because, how you say it is as important as the content of the evaluation. Evaluator’s objective is to encourage the speaker to give better speech, not to criticize. Following are some of the guidelines for delivering the evaluation. Please read the manual Effective Speech Evaluation for detailed guidelines. It explains each of the below points with an example.

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You are speaking for yourself not on behalf of the audience. Whatever you say is just your opinion.

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Avoid impersonal statements that imply someone other than you is giving the evaluation.

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Don’t repeat a point once you have made it. Repeating a point can sound like nagging.

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Don’t do anything that calls more attention to you than the speaker. Avoid exaggerated gestures.

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Motivate… Motivate… Motivate. Remember that you are helping your friend, not reviewing a movie!

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Always conclude on a positive note that helps the speaker build self-esteem and self-confidence.

Get feedback on evaluation: After the meeting

After the meeting, meet the speaker and talk to him/her. Take feedback for your evaluation from the speaker. Get feedback from the audience on your evaluation. See if your evaluation was accurate. These feedbacks will help you give a better evaluation next time.